Friday, April 30, 2010

The scotch tasting experience.

For some reason a lot of people around me like scotch, mostly single malts and so I thought I need to test this sometimes to see what this all is about. Also after my last vodka experience I just can't go near to vodka anymore :(

So after reading up a bit, I found out that there are basically 6 types of whiskey

  • bourbon
  • canadian
  • irish
  • scotch
    • single malt
    • blended
    • blended malt

this seems to be all quite pricey and so I decided to stick to scotch for now...

Since I always try to keep an open mind my first approach was 45 days ago trying to get a collection of some cheap too medium priced whiskeys to cover each of the regions with 2 bottes. Why 2? So that I have a comparison and give each region a fair chance. The statistical correct way would be 7 different bottles, but neither my liver nor wallet permits this.

The Regions


nothing in the collection so far, need to find one of these: AuchentoshanBladnoch, and Glenkinchie


Glenmorangie Original


Bowmore 12
Laguvilan 16, I only tried a glas of it at a party, but it was incredible smooth and tasty. Defiantly my preferred whiskey right now. Now I just need to find a bottle somewhere for under 80$.


nothing in the collection so far, need to find one of these Glen ScotiaGlengyle and Springbank,


The Maccallan 12
The Glenlivet 12

The Islands:

nothing in the collections yet, but people highly recommend Highland Park.
I did try a tallisker 12 from the Island of Skye and was not a fan of it at all, way to sprity for my taste.

The other whiskeys?

Just for the sake of comparison, I added

chivas regal 12 - I really don't like it, but it's great for BBQ sauces. I need to get a bottle Johnie Walker Green sometime.

Jamison 12

Drinking it?

Since I know from past experiences I neither like whisky in mix drinks (except manhattans, but this is canadian whiskey) or neat or on the rocks. Which means I have to water it down. After a bit of testing It turned out to be the most tasteful with 10-15% water from norway on a glas of scotch. Yes I actually did test water from different countries in different combinations.

Enjoying it?

It is really impressive how much the flavors varies between a highland and an Islay scotch for example. I tried Glenmorangie now several times and I just dont like it for some reasons, except with 40-50% of water and after standing for 10-15 minutes. Than it's quite enjoyable, but not nearly as enjoyable as an Islay.
I can't really say this about all Highland Whiskeys, since I did not try enough to make a statement on this. But most defiantly I like to continue the exploration to Speyside and Islay.

..sometimes I think I just need the right motivation to write...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

since it's the end of the month and I'm running out of cash, after all the expenses of this month, I decided to put some more miles on the little honda. Since it shouldn't just sit in the garage and collect dust. Also the tank is full and the tank on the R6 is empty.

It runs great and is fun to ride, even if it's way to small for me. I think I should officially rename it from 'daisy' to clown bike/

I also did the slight mistake and took it on the freeway to see how it performs at 65-75 mph. After all it's supposed to hit 85mph. Well to say short I was scared for my live and happy to get of the freeway at the next exit. The bike is just powerful enough (don't attempt to pass anything) , but just to light at 158kg/350 lbs to withstand the wind from passing cars and trucks. Also the skinny front tire is not helping much either and gets stuck in every potluck pothole.
Short It will not see the freeway again and stay in town and in parking spots for ashley to practice.

On the bright side, Rebels in this price range are selling currently for 2800$, so I should be able to sell it for what I bought it for + registration once the time comes.

I also think it shrunk in the rain...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

last night I encountered the first snatch with my upcoming road trip.

I was not able to pack all my stuff on the bike and don't even have enough space to take the camera with me with more than a single lens. This is just unfair.

The I ordered two bungee nets to see If i can use them to tie down my tent/sleeping pad/sleeping bag on top of the tail-bag. It's somehow the only chance to move it.

On the bright side my seat upgrade arrived and after getting used to it, it works quite well. It insulates me a bit more from the engine heat and dampens quite nice, while even raising me about half an inch - an inch. (1.3 - 2.6 cm) higher. Which relaxes the riding position a bit and decreases my knee angle. Actually while writing this I notice that my legs are not totally cramped up right now, which is normally the case.

The disappointing part is that it removes a bit of feedbag from the bike and you feel like you 'float' on the bike. I know it's the purpose of the pad, just strange. After 200 miles I was still being happy on the bike and was able to take the curves a bit more aggressively, to see how it behaves there. And it works quite well. I do need to push the bike a bit more to counter the floating on the pad to the right or the left, but overall I easily double the distance I can ride and will see how much I can push the bike tomorrow. I really need to get some pants next. At 80F+ my current pants just cling to me and are incredible uncomfortable. I hope to get this fixed at the first of the may weekend, once I got money again, now if I just could raise the handle bars an inch and move the controls an inch back I would be in heaven. But I think they call this a yamaha FJR and it would make more sense to trade the bike instead of investing money in it.

I also managed to submit my abstract for the conference in amsterdam and paid for the registration. Short I will be there soonish, but now my credit card is maxed out with the tire purchase, hotel costs and registration fee for 2 conferences, well I should be reimbursed in june-july.

One another note, I'm riding the R6 now since 5000 miles + without any major technical issues. I even managed yesterday to replace the brake fluid, which only took an hour for all 3 brakes, after my practice run on the Rebel. (This did take about 3 hours for one brake and spilled fluid all over the floor)

Last, but not least. I managed to sign the lease for a townhouse in north davis for the next year. It's a bit early, but I hope all works out with the visa. In the worst case I have to sublease it to someone.

Monday, April 19, 2010

My vacation is now roughly one month away and the whole setup for the 'Expedition' falls into place, more or less, but got more expensive than expected.


  • new tires
  • tire patch kit
  • saddle bags
  • tail bag
  • tank bag
  • tent
  • sleeping bag
  • camping kitchen (mini stove)
  • ultra light gear for different temperatures
  • Airhawk seat for the bike
  • touring windscreen
  • gps mount
  • digital camera - D80
  • digital video camera
  • 16GB + 8GB SD Card
  • wired charging system for GPS and Phone into the bike
  • tripod
  • water filter
  • sun lotion
  • my standard hiking hat
  • bungee cords
  • a pair of motorcycle pant's, since my over pants are getting way to hot and won't keep the protectors in place
  • small can of chain wax to carry with me
  • 1 gallon fuel tank for worst case scenarios
  • camel back for water

Monday, April 12, 2010

ah it happened again, I missed the death valley 'flower show' again. It only happens for a week or two a year

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I'm slowly making progress with my vacation plans and it all starts to come together. My main goal is to keep it between 2-4h of riding each day and camp as much as possible while doing it. So this is the current route.

Now I just have to find a way to strap a gallon of gas and a gallon of water to the bike. Next to the tent, laptop, conference outfit, hiking outfit and liners.

View Larger Map

Saturday, April 10, 2010

the perfect crepe recipe

I think since close to 5 years I try now to create the perfect crepe recipe and I think today I succeded!

Current recipe for sweet crepes


3 large eggs
2 table spoons melted butter
2 cups of flour
3 cups of 1% milk
1/2 table spoon vanilla extract
2 table spoon white cane sugar
1 zest of an orange


put the flour into a bowl
add the butter
add the milk
add the orange zest

mix this all together till it’s smooth
add the eggs
mix it all together
add the vanilla extract
add the sugar
mix it all together

slightly grease a pan with some butter over medium heat and start making the crepes.

They will be thin and delicious. Perfect to be served with some vanilla ice cream and apple sauce.